Federal Bytes

Bob Dornan, parking attendant

The monthly breakfasts sponsored by Federal Sources Inc., McLean, Va., have proven popular events for federal IT industry movers and shakers. But there is an irksome downside to attending: the endless line to get out of the Ritz-Carlton's parking garage.

The situation was particularly bad at last month's breakfast, with a backup comparable to rush hour on the Capital Beltway. When the line finally started moving, attendees were surprised to find Federal Sources' Bob Dornan taking tickets and waving them through the garage gate.

We assume that Dornan got fed up with the sluggish service and took on the task. He looked none too happy about his role as ticket-taker and merely grunted when we offered a cheery "Hi, Bob!" as we gave him our ticket.

We now find ourselves wondering if a tip would have been appropriate.

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Gray areas

The Commerce Department deputy CIO, Alan Balutis, spoke at the Federal Sources breakfast, opening his speech by thanking the company for airbrushing the gray from his hair in the photo advertising the event. He revealed that he has been coloring his hair, not with the anti-graying product Grecian Formula but with "a new product called Dorian Gray," which adds gray color to hair. Balutis said he decided to go gray when he noticed how "women flock to Tom Hewitt and Bob Golas"— IT industry veterans who sport gray locks.

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The telltale hack

With the attention that security has been getting lately, we thought we'd share these helpful tips— gleaned from an Internet site— to alert you as to whether a co-worker may be a computer hacker:

You ticked him off once, and your next phone bill was for $20,000.

He seems strangely calm whenever the local-area network goes down.

He somehow gets HBO on his PC at work.

He makes massive 401(k) contributions in half-cent increments.

You hear him murmur, "Let's see you use that Visa now, Professor

I-Don't-Give-A's-In-Computer-Science!"

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Unimaginative moniker

And we thought the federal government had strange acronyms. The folks from Cabletron Systems Inc. last week revealed the story behind the name of the gigabit-switch manufacturer that the company just acquired. The name of the switch manufacturer, Yago Systems Inc., is actually an acronym for Yet Another Gigabit Offering.

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